By Karen Polich
Acts 2:42-46 They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had a need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series We Are… continued with a focus on what it means to be an authentic community. Called to chase after God’s standard, we should seek to invest in the lives of those around us.
Togetherness is more than simply hanging out. Committed to learning together and sharing, an authentic biblical community grows together. Life is done together. It is more than time spent together in corporate worship on Sundays. The ups and downs, the joys the sorrows are all shared.
Four results of a true biblical community.
1. God makes His presence known. People can see the difference. It is an opportunity to be part of something special.
2. Needs are met. We all have challenges, but God is working in our challenges. He is mending, repairing and reconciling hearts in the midst of brokenness.
3. Joy returns. Enthusiasm is unmistakable. Others can see it and want to be a part of the joy. (John 20:19)
4. Lives are changed. The purpose of everything done at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church is to add to lives. It is not about adding to numbers. A life saturated in Christ will overflow.
It’s easy to share our lives when good things are happening. Sometimes, though, there is more bad than good. Pain can come from many sources, even those close to us.
Our hurts and wounds are meant to be healed. It might be the hurt came from trusted people in a church. Our expectations will never be fully met until we reach authentic perfection in heaven. Knowing this doesn’t fix the hurt, but could it be that choosing to forgive will have an impact that is life altering?
Willingness to take people where they are and love them is the beginning of an authentic community. Pour your life into others and see what God will do.